The Top 5 Tips and Tricks to Making Your eCommerce Store Stickier (And What That Is)
What’s the best way to keep shoppers in your eCommerce store longer, get them to convert, and return for more?
The solution is simple: you make your website stickier.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the term before (and, no, we’re not talking about your header, although it would be nice if stickiness was that easy).
We’re going to share five effective strategies to increase your store’s stickiness and explain what that really means in today’s guide.
By the end, you’ll know exactly what it takes to win new customers and keep your existing customers loyal.
Hint: It all has to do with creating an eCommerce store shoppers love.
Why Your eCommerce Store Should Prioritize Stickiness (And What That Is)
When you think of your eCommerce store as being “sticky,” you may jump to thinking about your sticky header. This stays affixed to the top or side of the page as someone scrolls through your store.
However, the stickiness we’re diving into in this guide is a little different.
Rather than your header staying put, the goal of making your eCommerce store “sticky” is to get shoppers to (literally) stick around. The longer they browse your store, the higher their chances of making a purchase.
Accomplishing this chain of events is one of the biggest challenges facing eCommerce businesses today. With so many competing online stores, it can be difficult for your products to cut through the noise and make their way into a shopping cart.
But that’s not even the hardest part. Once shoppers add items to their cart, you’ll need to hurdle another obstacle standing in your way of conversion: the checkout process.
Cart abandonment rates are through the roof, costing upwards of $18 billion in lost revenue every year. This happens when shoppers never purchase the products in their carts they liked so much.
As you’ve probably experienced, it’s not cheap to get shoppers to your site. And it’s even more frustrating when you snag them, they add items to their cart, and then vanish before buying anything.
This unfortunate scenario happens much less with sticky stores.
If you’ve ever walked into your favorite brick-and-mortar shop and felt like you wanted to buy everything or never leave, that’s stickiness in action.
The merchandising compels you to explore and touch products as you happily add items to your basket. Your senses are working overtime, but it all feels so easy, rewarding, and super fun.
After you get through checkout and return home with your goodies, you can’t wait to repeat the process all over again.
A sticky eCommerce store accomplishes the same for your business and customers. So let’s talk about how to make it happen.
5 Simple Tips for Improving Your eCommerce Store’s Stickiness
These five easy strategies will help ensure shoppers take the right actions once they land on your eCommerce store:
1. Slash Your Load Time
It’s hard to believe, but a teensy one-second delay in how fast your website loads can lead to a/an:
- 11% decrease in page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions
We know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.
People don’t have time to wait for your website to load. If it takes too long, they’ll quickly jump ship and miss out on everything you have to offer. Worse? They may wind up at one of your competitors’ stores.
That’s why your first order of business is to test how fast your pages load.
Don't just do this by visiting your website -- that’s not an accurate gauge of what’s really going on.
Instead, use a free tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see precisely how your website performs and where it needs work.
You should also turn to your customer engagement metrics, such as your average session length, bounce rate, and conversion rates. These may also clue you into how shoppers perceive your load time.
A low session rate and high bounce rate mean people aren’t sticking around. You’ll have confirmation of this with low conversion rates to match.
That’s why it’s so important to fix your website speed right away. A few ways to do this include:
- Make sure your hosting supports the amount of traffic you receive
- Compress large images and videos to speed up load times
- Keep your content management system up-to-date
Of course, we could spend a whole article discussing how to speed up your website, but these are the best places to start.
2. Make Browsing for Products a Breeze
Once your website speed is operating efficiently, your next focus should be on creating an easy, intuitive, and enjoyable online shopping experience.
This takes focusing on your user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
Similar to the point about website speed, if it takes your customers too long to find what they’re looking for -- or worse, they receive an “item not found” error message -- they’ll quickly bounce off your site.
And they may never return.
That’s the total opposite of a sticky store.
- Decrease the time to purchase
- Boost the customer experience
- Increase average order value
- Raise sales and revenue
- Show customers what they need or didn’t know they need
These two vital pieces of the puzzle also allow you to showcase upsells, complementary products, and those shoppers didn’t even know existed.
In other words, it really pays to get this step right, especially if stickiness is your goal.
3. Show Off Your Products from Every Possible Angle
How much time and attention do you give to your product shots and visual presentation?
Because customers can’t physically pick up your product like they would in a brick-and-mortar, they only have your images, videos, and product specs to help them make purchase decisions.
So the better you can help them visualize what your products would be like in the real world, the better your chances of having them stick around and make a purchase.
To give your shoppers a better-than-in-store shopping experience:
- Include as many high-resolution product detail shots as possible
- Photograph your products from every angle
- Allow shoppers to zoom in and out to see every detail
- Add product videos that show your items to scale
- Consider augmented reality (AR) to help people visualize products in their environment
Just remember to compress these files so you don’t slow down your website’s load time.
Despite those visual boosts, you can’t neglect your product descriptions and specifications.
While it’s nice to capture attention with a well-written product description, people are also looking for important specification details. These tell them whether your items match what they’re imagining and will work for them.
So write compelling and comprehensive product details for customers, and you’ll boost your search optimization and your chances of conversion.
4. Build Trust from the Start with Customer Reviews
Adding customer reviews, especially ones with high-quality images or videos, can also help you keep shoppers glued to your store long enough to buy.
That’s because customer reviews quickly build trust and tell people that your brand is safe to go with.
This decreases how long it takes shoppers to purchase from your store while increasing sales, making it a must-have strategy.
To automate your customer review process, try using our top-rated review management software. Then you’ll have no trouble getting customer reviews and converting new customers.
5. Make the Experience Fun
That last effective strategy to make your website stickier is to gamify your store and turn it into a fun, exciting, and rewarding experience.
All eCommerce sites lack some of the elements that make in-store shopping such a treat, such as instant gratification, sensory appeal (smelling a candle, for instance), and the thrill of scoring a one-of-a-kind find on sale.
So it’s up to you to add in some fun elements that make the online experience not only worth it for customers, but even better.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a loyalty program and gamify it.
This means going beyond just offering incentives to purchase from your brand.
You should generate interactive experiences, like virtual leaderboards and earnable badges, that shoppers get for making it to certain levels or hitting different milestones with your brand.
You can then use these items as tickets to win prizes or special pricing, which motivates people to take action and have some fun all at once.
If you’re not already using a loyalty program, that’s your next step in your stickiness strategy. Then you can move on to gamifying your loyalty program and really upping your site’s overall experience.
The more you can encourage shoppers to interact with your brand, the more they will and the longer they’ll stay on your site. Plus, gamifying the experience means they’ll eagerly return to level-up and score more points for goodies.
So go all out -- you’ll see it’s worth the extra effort!
Final Thoughts on Increasing Your eCommerce Store’s Stickiness
Since you’ve made it to this point in our guide, you now understand just how important it is to make your eCommerce store sticky.
Doing so ensures that potential (and existing) customers love your site so much they stay long enough to make a purchase. This should help lower your cart abandonment rates, increase conversions, and help foster brand loyalty, all of which will boost your revenue.
Follow the tips in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to having the stickiest eCommerce site of your dreams!